People like stories and can be very persuasive, and I notice stories also make it easy to avoid ego conflicts. In this case study, we used customer’s decision-making criteria rather than our opinions, to persuasively communicate our analysis. However, don’t be so persuasive that you forget about the dignity of the people you are addressing. Tell a good story that leads them to your conclusions, as though your audience had thought them up themselves. This works with everyone I have ever addressed regardless of profession or culture.
This post continues my story from the BCG Matrix Share discussion where we set the stage for an acquisition with a share of market visual. However, share of market by itself was not compelling enough for management. We created a company comparison based on 7 key customer buying criteria, and decided it would be more credible if we represented the comparisons from a customer’s point of view, casting aside our blind spots and biases.
A strategic visual competitive intelligence tool I really like is the Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) Matrix Share Momentum model. You can see at a glance with little explanation how to read the results of this model. In competitive intelligence terms, the tool is a great primer to communicate to management a share of market snap shot.
This is an update of books on competitive intelligence tools and techniques from a 2009 blog. Analysis Without Paralysis was updated in 2012 and now includes 12 techniques, 2 more than the first edition in 2006. Mercyhurst University students and staff published The Analyst’s Cookbook, Volume 2, available only in Kindle format.
The Radar Screen is one of my favorite competitive intelligence tools. It is totally visual, and fits on one page for easy digestion. It can be used both strategically and tactically, and is a rich communication tool. Read about it in Adrian Slywotsky’s Value Migration. It’s a great way to visualize how competitors are positioned relative to you and each other. The uses for the Radar Screen competitor map are as rich as your imagination. The screen can be divided into 4 quadrants which might depict competitors by 4 separate business units, 4 different geographies, and on a tactical level 4 different reasons why customers buy.
One tool that been very popular with Sales forces over the years is “Switching Cost Analysis.” The goal is to help retain your customers! Identify all the hidden costs of the competitor’s solution which might make it more expensive for the customer to switch. Find enough omitted costs and the customer might wonder what else the competitor is not telling them!
I like the cooperative approach shared in Hot Buttons to solve conflicts with colleagues as it’s objective, focuses on constructive communication, and not “who dunnit? While cooperative intelligence skills of leadership, connection and communication don’t guarantee job security, they will help you stand out since many people have lower emotional intelligence: that is they have weak people skills.
I just finished creating two presentations for SCIP’s (Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals) Annual Conference in Chicago from April 22 – 25. The first talk is “Build a Sustainable Early Warning Process through Cooperative Connection” and the second is “Capture Competitive Intelligence from Sales and Customers for Lucrative Product Development.” I hope to see you at SCIP’s annual conference! Feel free to post any questions on this blog post and I’ll find answers for you.